Time to nerd out…
First off, a word of warning: this entry will operate at a fairly high level of computer geekery. I try not to bother others with long-winded tales of my adventures in computing, so I will out of a sense of obligation to your sanity try to keep this short. Still, I must tell someone!
First, I finally bought a new wireless router. I had a D-Link DIR 632 router before that. It was wireless N and had 8 LAN ports, which was my purchasing criteria since I had plenty of ethernet connected devices and I didn’t want to have to buy a switch to plug into my new router. The problems is, the D-Link blew hard. It dropped connections and needed to be unplugged every couple weeks. I wanted to just live with the inconvenience of that because of the convenience of an all-in-one device, but after the second time of it going down while we were all away from the house, I realized it had to go.
I bought a new ASUS RT-N65R. Yes, I can hear your comments now. “Awesome!” you say. Well, it is. It’s faster, more stable, and has tons more options. Our iPads run faster with the 5 ghz frequency as well. A very sweet addition is a free, ASUS hosted DDNS address. What that means is that they’ll provide you with an easy-to-use web address (eatmyshorts.asus.com) so that you can always log into your home network even if your ISP changes your IP address, which will happen sooner or later. It makes it much easier for the second item on my list…
2. Homeseer. You’ve probably seen some demonstrations of home automation software here or there. Whip out the iPad, tap a button and turn on all the lights in the house. Arm your alarm system. Play music. Bring up video camera feeds. Well, Homeseer does that. I’ve installed a demo version and have to say I’m blown away. I’m what I like to refer to as an X10 Survivor. No need for the details, but X10 is a relatively stable system that’s often run by complete garbage software. I’ve been using Activehome, and it’s just horrible. I let my home automation languish because, instead of making updates, I lived in fear that looking at the screen wrong would cause the whole system to go bat-guano. That’s actually happened, by the way.
So, I’m starting small. I’m converting my X10 devices from being controlled by Activehome over to Homeseer. After that, it’s RF switches for my lights and sensors. Homeseer has essentially unlimited potential. I’m just in awe.
The problem is that I can see Homeseer will severely tempt me to spend time creating new ways to trigger my living room lights to turn on instead of me spending my time writing.
Someday, I’ll swap out my security cams and system. Until then, I’ll design a cool interface screen and then get back to the adventures of Matt Falken, the boy who gets to save Earth!